Outlines of Russian History to 1900

First year module

Lecturer: Galina Yemelianova

The first semester begins with a brief general introduction to pre-Muscovite Russia – the founding and structure of Kievan Rus’ and the nature and impact of the ‘Mongol yoke’. It then proceeds chronologically through the major periods of Russian history, including Ivan IV and the consolidation of the Muscovite State, The Time of Troubles, Developments in Russian Orthodoxy, the reforms of Peter and Catherine the Great, the great peasant rebellions, The Napoleonic Wars and finally the Decembrist Revolt of 1825.

The second semester initially offers a chronological outline of major developments in nineteenth century Russia up until 1900 but also covers topics thematically, including the development of nationalism, the growth of an urban society, the social structure of Russia in this period - the peasantry, the intelligentsia and the gentry and the nobility. It concludes with an assessment of the crucial relationship between government and society at this time.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to understand the overall historical development of Russia and the Russian Empire from 1550-1900; understand the structures of Russian society across periods of time; understand differing interpretations of the impact of significant events in Russian history on society



  • Term One: 2000 word essay 25%
  • Term Two: 2000 word essay 25%
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination 50%